On the Railing

Published: Jan 05, 2021

He stood on the bridge, watching the ducks, a few geese. He hated birds, because they could fly and he could not. He stepped up on to the handrail, it was six or eight inches wide, made of some kind of silver metal, and there was no issue balancing. The wind blew and he leaned back against it, fearing for a moment that he might slip. Then he remembered that was why he was there, to test his wish for death. It was low and quiet, never bothering him all that much, but it was always there and always aching.

"Hey Dragonman!"

Pounding footsteps rushed closer. Paul was afraid to turn, intent on balancing.

Heavy breathing became apparent and distinct from the cars. "You're the Dragonman, yeah?" Feet shuffled a little.

"I suppose that's true."

"What the devil are you doing up there?" The man sounded dumb asking that question, but Paul felt obligated to respond in some way.

He thought for a moment. "Trying to get a better view of the ducks."

"Down there? Aren't you farther away?" A stubby, fat finger pointed accusingly at the water.